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Desflurane Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 28, 2023.

Applies to desflurane: inhalation liquid, inhalation solution.

Serious side effects of Desflurane

Along with its needed effects, desflurane may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking desflurane:

More common

Less common


Incidence not known

Other side effects of Desflurane

Some side effects of desflurane may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common


For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to desflurane: inhalation liquid.


Very common (10% or more): Breath holding (27% in adults; 68% in pediatrics), laryngospasm (50% in pediatrics), cough (34%), apnea (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pharyngitis, apnea, cough, laryngospasm

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypoxia

Frequency not reported: Respiratory arrest, respiratory failure, respiratory distress, bronchospasm, hemoptysis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (27%), salivary hypersecretion (21%), vomiting

Frequency not reported: Acute pancreatitis, abdominal pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nodal arrhythmia, bradycardia, tachycardia, hypertension

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia, arrhythmia, vasodilation, ECG abnormal, electrocardiogram ST-T change, electrocardiogram T wave inversion

Frequency not reported: Cardiac arrest, torsade de pointes, ventricular failure, ventricular hypokinesia, malignant hypertension, hemorrhage, hypotension, shock, tachyarrhythmia, palpitations[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dizziness

Frequency not reported: Seizures, encephalopathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hepatic necrosis, cytolytic hepatitis, cholestasis, jaundice, hepatic function abnormal, liver disorder, alanine aminotransferase increased, aspartate aminotransferase increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Conjunctivitis

Frequency not reported: Ocular icterus, eye burns, transient blindness, ulcerative keratitis, ocular hyperemia, reduced visual acuity, eye irritation, eye pain[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hyperkalemia, hypokalemia, metabolic acidosis, ammonia increased[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myalgia

Frequency not reported: Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Urticaria, erythema, skin burning sensation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Coagulopathy, coagulation test abnormal[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Agitation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased creatinine phosphokinase

Frequency not reported: Malignant hyperthermia, asthenia, malaise, migraine, fatigue[Ref]


1. Product Information. Suprane (desflurane). Baxter Pharmaceutical Products, Inc. 2008.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.